Operation Mincemeat follows naval intelligence officer Ewen Montagu and MI5 operative Charles Cholmondeley as they pull off the mission from acquiring a dead body to constructing a full life story for the deceased officer to ensuring that the papers landed on Hitler's desk. If it wasn't true the whole thing might sound like a James Bond novel, and that is not by accident. Also serving in the naval intelligence at this time (and featuring in this story) was James Bond author Ian Flemming. Flemming's model for "M" was the real life head of naval intelligence when Operation Mincemeat was first hatched, and his inspiration for "Q" was the gadget guy who developed a way for the corpse to be transported from England to the drop point. These guys don't take after James Bond, James Bond takes after these guys.
The story has been told before by Montagu himself in the novel and movie entitled The Man Who Never Was, but author Ben Macintyre draws on newly discovered materials to tell the whole story, including the identity of the body that was at the center of the plot. The book is rich and full of detail, and draws a very vivid picture of life in the British Secret Service during the war and the steamy underbelly of the intelligence community in Spain and Northern Africa at the time.
This book is a must read for anybody who is into World War II or the intelligence community. In a war known for its grand deceptions, this was one of the grandest of them all. I'm very pleased I read this book; you will be too. Four stars. [Amazon]